Rob Black's Tech Stock Report

by: Rob Black
Sun (NASDAQ:SUNW), the world's third- largest maker of server computers, will build machines using Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) microprocessors. Sun will break its exclusive use of Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) Opteron semiconductors for its line of servers that use so-called x86 personal-computer chips.

The decision by Sun is a big endorsement for Intel's new Xeon server chips. This is a big win for Intel after they lost market share in servers to smaller rival Advanced Micro last year after falling behind in the introduction of new technology. Now that Intel's new Xeon processors are boasting better performance/power consumption vs. AMD's Opteron, Sun Microsystems, among other server vendors like H-P, Dell, and IBM, are exploring the use of Intel processors in its x86 server line. While Sun Micro is only the sixth- largest maker of servers based on PC chips, its sales have been growing quickly.

JDS Uniphase (JDSU) announceda stronger-than-expected preliminary 2nd quarter 2007 rev citing greater-than-expected strength in communications test & measurement sales, which more than offset a slight sequential decline in optical communications product sales.

Motorola (MOT), the world's second- largest mobile-phone maker, said profit slid 48 percent to $624 million as the company slashed prices to compete with Nokia and Samsung. Sales gained 17 percent to $11.8 billion, in line with the company's reduced forecast. The average selling price for phones shrank to $119 from $131 in the previous quarter as Motorola discounted the Razr and Q phones and sold more handsets in emerging markets such as India.

Industrywide growth is at a five-year low so Motorola has to focus on innovation, especially in mid- to high-tiers, where margins are higher. This year is likely to be more competitive than 2006. Margins are under pressure and prices keep falling. The industry is in such turmoil that it's hard to become interested.

China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) agreed to buy Millicom's stake in a Pakistani wireless company for $284 million, the first foreign acquisition for the world's biggest cellphone operator and the latest sign of corporate China's ambition to expand internationally.

International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) plans to sell social-networking software called Lotus Connections that works like Web sites such as Facebook but is safe enough for corporate use. The Connections suite will compete with Microsoft's Windows SharePoint Services, a five-year-old product with 85 million users that added social-networking features in its latest version, unveiled in November.

Venezuela's government will take over telephone company CANTV before it pays off investors, President Hugo Chavez said Sunday, urging Venezuela's telecom chief to accelerate the move by naming a new board. CANTV is a telephone operator, which is partly owned by U.S. telecommunications company Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and this is part of a broad nationalization push to consolidate his self-described socialist revolution.

IBD reports the wave of cell phone price cuts already has hit Research in Motion's (RIMM) newest BlackBerry model, the Pearl. T-Mobile USA slashed its Pearl price from $199 to $149 this month. The move matches recent Pearl price cuts from Verizon Wireless and RadioShack. The price cuts are stirring questions over how RIMM will maintain its profit margin as increasing competition threatens to undermine prices even in the high end of the cell phone industry.

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